Dîner en Blanc: Whatever You Do, Don’t Call It a Flash Mob

Example all-white tablescape with menus by S?R chef Anthony Van Camp
Example all-white tablescape with menus by S?R chef Anthony Van Camp
foodbitch

Here's something completely different. How would you like to drive to a predetermined rendezvous point, dressed head-to-toe in fancy all-white clothing, with a picnic table and chairs, dinner and cleanup supplies in tow, be driven to a secret location in the Dallas/Fort Worth area along with 1,400 other blanc-clad guests, all of you ready to descend upon an iconic spot to dine, enjoy, engage, dance and then tidy up and leave that place wondering if the whole night was nothing but a dream?

Well, mark your calendar for September 17.

I’ll bet you’ve got a few questions.

“Why’s it gotta be white?”
Not to worry, people of color, this party is inclusive, not exclusive, when it comes to equality. In fact, equality is one of the eight “pillars” of the Dîner en Blanc International organization. The other pillars? Friendship, secrecy (as in, nobody knows where the event will take place until they get there), elegance, non-commercial (nonprofit), sharing and preparation.

How much does this cost?
Besides having to find/buy/borrow an all-white fancy-schmancy outfit, a tablescape (Google it or search Pinterest), and your own food, table and chairs, the cost to attend the event itself is actually quite low. There’s a $37 fee per person and an additional $8 membership fee to join the Dîner en Blanc International organization for the main attendee. In short, far less than attending your cousin’s wedding.

So, how much of the ticket price goes to charity?
I know we’re quite used to this in Dallas, and I had the exact same thought. We’re also used to paying a lot more than $37 per person for a night out. There are no charities benefiting directly from the event, and though there are major sponsors that cover a large portion of the costs associated with the event itself, they mostly help keep the cost of attending down for guests.

I heard something about a lot of rules. I don’t like rules.
Well, you’d better listen up, P. Diddy, because this white party has a black list. One of the other pillars of Dîner en Blanc is privilege. And not the rich kid kind, either. The exclusive, appreciate-what-you’ve-been-given kind. As in show up, act your age, don’t get too drunk, and follow the rules or next year, no soup for you.

What happens at the event?
If you are privileged enough to be among the 1,200-1,400 guests in attendance at the inaugural Dîner en Blanc Dallas, you will meet new friends, do a LOT of people watching, drink Champagne (but not too much), share picnic foods, listen to music by Dallas Winds, dance to DJ Jason Esquire, watch some fireworks, take home some keepsakes, clean up your mess and be able to say you were there, basically.

So it's a flash mob?
Yikes. They really don't like it when you call it that. You see, flash mobs are so ... pedestrian. And so, like, 2012. So American. Dîner en Blanc began in Paris. It's French. There's no flashing. There's no mobbing. Really, everyone just calm down.

Do I really have to wear white?
Yes. Like, really. And white. Not beige. Not khaki. And no pops of color. All white. No T-shirts, either, Macklemore. Turn. Up. Pretend it’s the opposite of a funeral. Fashion is a big part of this event. Use it as an opportunity to have fun and go outside your comfort zone. Maybe go shopping! Ever heard of a fascinator? Google that. Oh, and pack a white umbrella, parka or raincoat, because rain or shine you've got to look good.

How do I get on the list?
Click. Quick. Visit dallas.dinerenblanc.info/register. Folks on the waiting list will receive an invitation to purchase tickets, which sell out in minutes, so you'll want to act quickly.


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